We'll never make a coffee at work after learning this

Publish Date
Thursday, 28 September 2017, 2:23PM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

If you've been trying to save money by making tea or coffee at work, you may want to think twice about it after reading this. 

 Apparently, as much as 90 per cent of mugs in office kitchens are coated in germs, with  20 per cent of those cups carrying faecal matter.

The culprit? According to University of Arizona professor of environmental microbiology Dr Charles Gerba, it's the rarely changed communal kitchen sponges, scrubbers and tea-towels to blame for spreading bacteria.

"The presence of insanitary conditions in office kitchen and/or coffee preparation areas is of concern. The presence of potential pathogens in this environment necessitates the initiation of proper sanitary standards."

If you're lucky enough to be in an office with a dishwasher, you should be okay, but it doesn't end in the kitchen.

One study found the chairs and phones had a high abundance of bacteria, while the desktop, keyboard and mouse were somewhat cleaner. "Humans are spending an increasing amount of time indoors, yet we know little about the diversity of bacteria and viruses where we live, work and play." 

In 2012, a subsequent study led by Dr Scott Kelley from University of California found men's offices had "significantly" more bacteria than women's. The research team, which included Dr Gerba, identified more than 500 bacterial strains, the most abundant of which came from human skin, nasal, oral and intestinal cavities.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.